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What is DESCA

DESCA (Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement) is a comprehensive Model Consortium Agreement which offers a reliable frame of reference for project consortia. DESCA enjoys broad support within the FP community.

The signature of a Consortium Agreement between the partners of a research project is mandatory for almost every Horizon 2020 project. The European Commission offers general guidance for the drafting of consortium agreements but rightfully does not endorse a specific model consortium agreement. Initiated by key FP7 stakeholder groups, and updated for Horizon 2020 in consultation with the FP community, the DESCA  initiative seeks to balance the interests of all participant categories: large and small firms, universities, public research institutes and RTOs, in the spirit of the  Responsible Partnering Initiative.

DESCA is a simple and comprehensive model Consortium Agreement, stripped of all unnecessary complexity in both content and language. The modular structure of DESCA, with various options and alternative modules and clauses, provides maximum flexibility. Great care has gone into making sure that these variants remain consistent with the core text. Elucidation notes with concrete examples and detailed explanations about the various options and clauses are provided throughout the model. These notes will help research managers without legal training and first-time Horizon 2020 participants make informed choices about the best wording to protect their interests.

The DESCA Model Consortium Agreement was specifically designed for Horizon 2020 "Research and Innovation Actions" and "Innovation Actions".

The DESCA Core Group is represented by ANRT, EARTO, KoWi, LERU, VTT and coordinated by Fraunhofer and the Helmholtz Association.

The DESCA Consultation Group, which provides vital expertise for the development of DESCA, consists of more than 160 experts from Academia, Research and Technology Organisations and Industry from all over Europe, as well as from other  countries involved in the framework programmes, e.g. Israel and USA.